I just caught up on these. Nice job by the producers, the whole saga would make a great TV doco one day. To be honest I thought the most insightful information was sourced from the quotes taken from Ian Ridley’s Urge to Merge, which I read a few years back. But still nice to hear it all put together, and I thought they captured the atmosphere of the merger match really well.
I walk away with a few lingering thoughts:
· How does history view Tiger Ridley (RIP) and the decision of the board to recommend the merger 24 years on? I was a member at the time, a bit too apathetic (and possibly too young) to vote, but I remember being undecided as what was best for the club. One might argue we would have folded/relocated/merged if it wasn’t for the later financial success of the AFL and things like the competitive balance fund. I’m sure in hindsight everyone on this site is glad that it didn’t happen, given that we are still alive, and (relatively) flourishing, but I’m not sure that makes the recommendation to merge the wrong decision.
· I still can’t get my head around why the Hawthorn board recommended the merger in its proposed form that was heavily in our favour (name, home ground, jumper). I understand that they were in a dicey financial position at the time, but they had everything else going for them (assets, on-field success, healthy support base, if not paid up members). Given their rapid off-field success immediately after this period, it seems they would have been better off at least trying the tin-rattling solution fist.
And the million dollar question, if the majority of Hawthorn members had voted for the proposal, would it have gone ahead (would the threats of legal action over the vote have stopped the process)?